The days of trying to 'buy' attention is well and truly over.
But volume isn’t the only problem, as ads are becoming ever more intrusive, inescapable and noisy due to advances in technology and data science.
People are constantly bombarded with digital junk, triggering ad fatigue and banner blindness.
Everywhere we go, we’re greeted by unwarranted ads -- tags and cookies follow us from place to place -- insisting we buy things we’ve already bought or have no intention of buying.
If you work in marketing you convince yourself that everyone is looking at your brand and company, yet the reality couldn't be further from the truth.
This is because people today are bombarded with brand messages (adverts) of circa 4k -10k per day across multiple devices.
What's happened is that we've all started to disengage with the corporate message, basically the level of trust has been diluted which in turn means we no longer relate to, or trust what you're saying is true.
To quote former Unilever CMO Keith Weed, “A brand without trust is just a product, and advertising without trust is just noise.” Consumers have always been mistrusting of advertising and brands -- that’s their default position.
A surplus of bad advertising is overpopulating people’s screens and feeds.
Today there is a significant move to brands that invest in 'earning' that attention.
Whilst there are many ways a company can go about this today's socially savvy consumers providing us with the opportunity to do this via 'social media'.
To do this requires a shift in the leadership mindset thinking away from the legacy 'advertise and promote' thinking that's been the modus operandi for brands since the birth of the internet, along with the training of all employees and most important a significant shift in culture.
The point I'm trying to make here is that when your involving yourself in social media try telling stories about the industry first, not you, your brand, your products or services - because effective branding is about consistent, relatable authentic storytelling.
Good marketing will bring people to your product or service, hopefully in sufficient numbers to keep the doors open.
But marketing alone will not keep them coming back. It won’t create a bond between you and them.
Branding animates your product, your company, your employees, and your clients or customers.
When branding is strong and a company consistently focuses on the values that their story embodies, their products or services can become part of people’s lives.
In the best cases, those companies can actually influence the culture of an entire business sector and beyond.
Every big idea, every legendary brand, begins as a story. The story is sometimes deeply entwined with the personal story of the founder/owner, but the brand’s story is a distinctive story all in itself. If you don’t know the story, if you haven’t spent time thinking about it and working it into a narrative that explains what makes the heart of your business beat, then you really don’t understand your business at all.